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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Storm Eunice: Wind and rain continue to batter UK as thousands still without power

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ore wet and windy weather is set to sweep the UK on Sunday after Storm Eunice caused what providers believe was the biggest national power outage on record.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for wind which could cause further power cuts, transport delays and damage to properties.

Sunday’s warnings cover Wales and most of England from midday until 3pm, and the North West and Northern Ireland from midday until midnight.

Identical wind warnings have been issued for Monday.

A yellow warning for rain, meaning “there is a chance that homes and businesses could be flooded”, is also in place for Cumbria, Lancashire and West Yorkshire from midnight until 6pm on Sunday.

Some 155,000 people are still without power, and the Energy Networks Association said it believes the UK may have experienced a record outage over a 24-hour period on Friday, with around 1.3 million homes affected.

People observe flood water in heavy snow in York city centre (Danny Lawson/PA) / PA Wire

Electricity provider Western Power Distribution (WPD) confirmed the outage was the most widespread ever recorded for the south west of England.

The company said: “Since it first hit, Storm Eunice has officially caused the highest number of power cuts in a 24 hour period our South West region has ever experienced.

“Our engineers are continuing to work relentlessly to restore supplies to our customers despite the awful conditions.”

At the height of the storm, the roof of the O2 Arena in London was damaged – causing rapper Dave’s upcoming concerts to be postponed – and the spire of St Thomas Church in Wells, Somerset, crashed to the ground.

Saturday evening was relatively calm, after northern England faced blizzard-like weather through the day and people on the south coast braced gale-force winds.

But forecasters have warned Sunday could see gales of up to 70mph in some parts of England, which is the same speed recorded at Heathrow Airport on Friday when thousands watched planes struggling to land on YouTube channel Big Jet TV.

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